Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Player Profile #18 - Greg "Doc" Magrane

I thought I would start the next session of player profiles off with a golden oldie (which isn't a old age joke, but maybe should be).  Greg "Doc" Magrane has been around the MBC for quite some time.  And he has always anchored the veteran end of the spectrum with aplomb, with his current age approaching 70?  To me, every hard scrabble baseball team needs someone nicknamed Doc, and we are lucky to have ours.

Doc was an original SF bum, starting sooner than anyone, I think, and we all smile at the thought of him footloose and fancy-free, cruising the Mission back in the 70's.  Since then, he has earned a Ph.D, got married, had two great kids and worked at UCSF in cancer research.  Doc retired a few years ago and now follows the sun down to Venezuela where his wife has built their retirement haven.  Not a bad life.  We have threatened to put together a barnstorming team and play our way through the country some day.  And we should.

Between back and hip ailments, Doc stopped playing baseball about five years ago, but he still comes out and umpires when he can.  The game always has a bit more shine to it when Doc shows up, makes us feel official.  Still, it is a strange thing to have an umpire after so many years of the catcher's calls.  Doc does a good job, and he is humble enough to let the catcher overrule him if they feel strongly enough about it.  MBC is still baseball by democracy.

Doc's son, Oliver, used to come out whenever he did and he was a decent player, even when he was 10?  Oliver was faster than any of us, of course, and it was a pleasure to watch him grow up from a young quiet kid, to a young quiet man.  Seriously, quietest kid ever.  Except when it's 2 am apparently.  Doc was good enough to rent a room to my buddy Rob for a few years, and Rob said on more than one occasion, Oliver would start practicing trumpet in the middle of the night.  Oliver stopped coming out to play when he got to be a teenager, but I would still see him occasionally at music festivals, wrapped in a serape, with a massive afro of screwy black hair adorned with bits of feather.  Kids these days....I bet he can still catch a ball though.

For an older guy, Doc was a hard out, he always made contact, and put the ball just over the infielders head.  Plus, you couldn't brush him back cuz then you would just look like a bully picking on some old guy....
Something that you might not know is that Doc plays the gut bucket, a skill he picked up in his native state of Indiana.  When we used to have band practice in his living room, Doc would roll out the gut bucket and play along, good times.
Doc, we miss you when you go, and we are always happy to see you return!

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